Last weekend was my work Convention. It was hectic and fun, productive & challenging. I didn’t go outside or turn my computer on for 4 days – I was too busy! The Pie was along for the ride the whole time as we made our way through the offices, classrooms and exhibit halls.
The Pie worked pretty hard cruising the halls for days – so much so that my ED reminded me that one of the first things the PTA did was work to enforce child labor laws. I’m bringing child labor back to the year 1900.
Here is one of my favorite exhibitors, David with Mad About Gardening. I try not to play favorites, but this program creates meaningful education and advocacy along with fundraising opportunities for schools. And he was so enthusiastic about being there it was totally contagious.
The Mountain Man joined us, and the Pie couldn’t have been happier. Snuggling against daddy’s head while we walked quickly turned to sleeping. The Mountain Man was not so happy about not being able to stop walking or move his head for her hour-long nap. You just don’t mess with naptime.
The Pie and her friend E hung out at Convention, too. They met last year when I was waddling around. For some reason they didn’t recognize each other…
My co-worker and dear friend Denise snuggled with Lucy the alligator in the office. Lucy’s 5 years old and the sweetest, most docile little thing. Scott the Reptile Man has raised her from a babe. I wish I had a picture of me and the Reptile Man carrying a baby and a baby alligator, respectively, down the halls of the hotel, to bring them to Denise in the office. Oh, the awwws and gasps we elicited as we passed.
I was thrilled to be able to invite one of my favorite non-profits to join us at Convention – the School of Acrobatics & New Circus Arts (SANCA) brought it’s Youth Company, a group of SANCA students who audition into this performance group, to entertain at the banquet. Here is their gear as they begin loading in. Mats, unicycles, balance balls, juggling pins, rings & balls, and the tight rope. After their performance they got a full-house standing ovation, and one of the jugglers excitedly searched for someone who had videotaped the performance because, he gushed, had had done “way better than normal!”
Setting up for the banquet.
The Pie claps for the jugglers…
…and gnaws on an asparagus. Please note the exact same eyebrow expression on the Pie and then the Mountain Man. And the hairline.
Our sweet, hard-working and accommodating AV guys from AV Factory. The morning after the banquet I saw Chris, above in the headphones, walking the halls, and thanked him loudly for “last night.” Woops.
The Pie visits with friends Megan & Jay and shows off her collection of Convention Ribbons.
The Pie cheers for the SANCA performers and everyone laughs.
SANCA performers wait in the wings for their turn on stage.
The Pie shows off her spoon skills to her adoring public.
And in the morning she visits with an African spurred tortoise.
She went for a ride on a wobbly chair.
And we got a couple more pictures with Lucy and one with just the two of us.
At the end of Convention, students who have won a state award for their artwork come to be recognized. This adorable little dude was hanging out right in front of my desk. I thought he was making eyes at me, and I started developing a little crush, but then I realized I had a pile of candy that someone had dropped on my desk… sigh. A girl just can’t compete with a pile of candy.
I wasn’t sure how it would work out for me, managing my part of the Convention with baby in tow. Thankfully the vast majority of Convention participants are parents themselves, and they were all thrilled to get to play with the Pie. When she wasn’t in my arms, people were disappointed to find out that she was with childcare or her daddy. It’s hard to convince parents who are spending the weekend away from their kids that my sweet little Pie needs a nap just as much as she needs their snuggles. I did, however, find that I could work pretty well with some minor accommodations, and that the Pie is an extrovert. She’s got a long road ahead of her with two introverts for parents!
I am so looking forward to crawling into my own bed, not waking up to my shrill cell phone alarm, and getting back to my quiet days at home. Work goes on. There’s a lot to do before this time next year… and I’m going to have to get a little more creative keeping my child (who will by then be a toddler) laboring.